Ireland
Mountjoy

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  • Day3

    Ballyvourney here we come

    April 1 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 43 °F

    Coffee is the great ally during jet lag recovery, (and fresh flowers )…❤️

    We are picking up our car in Dublin and driving to Ballyvourney today.

    Always look forward to our cab rides with the utterly charming cab driver/ traffic angels 😇.
    Today’s driver was no exception as he updated us on the current green government of Dublin City who has “turned half the feckin streets into bike lanes and one way’s.”

    The three and a half hour trip went very smoothly.
    Gas is 8 dollars a gallon and we are pleased to be driving a VW Polo which is perfect for 2 people.

    So happy to have dinner and Guiness at the Mills Inn in Ballyvourney and to be checked into our own little private cottage under the shadow of the Old Colthust Castle.And we even have an outdoor seating area to enjoy during our stay.

    Back in the colonial days, when the locals here had their land seized , the English family the Colthursts were granted most of what is now County Cork by the King and ruled from castles throughout the area.
    My Sweeney ancestors were tenants of the Colthursts before John Sweeney, my great great grandfather and his wife Mary Dineen and her parents left for homestead land in Wisconsin in the early 1850’s. By the way , the Colthursts still own and operate nearby Blarney Castle.
    Ps Jörg is raising a glass to you readers in gratitude for your wonderful comments ❤️🙏☘️🇮🇪
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    Kathy Zavala

    Can you smell the flowers?

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Very interesting menu! What did you have?

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    We both had the seafood chowder which was amazing and full of fresh seafood : only an hour to the ocean from here. And the Mills is famous for brown soda bread served with the widely acclaimed local butter .Many local food items on the menu .

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Yummm

    4/1/22Reply
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  • Day67

    👯‍♀️ Mädels Trip

    November 19, 2021 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Es kommt neuer Besuch 😍😍🥳! Und es ist mal wieder soooo gutes Wetter! Um 12Uhr hole ich die Mädels am Flughafen ab und wir machen uns auf den Weg zum Hotel - das ist so schick! 😍 Wir staunen richtig. Wir verteilen die Zimmer und es entsteht erneut das Diezen G‘s Zimmer 😂 Erstmal kurz das Bett ausprobieren und Mandarinen, ein bisschen Schoki und Kekse snacken. Kati hat einfach eine Brezel und ich glaube ich Fall vom Stuhl, so freue ich mich über einen Bissen. Es ist schon spät, bzw. die Sonne geht immer früher unter, weshalb wir kurz zum Supermarkt gehen und dann Richtung Sandymount Strand laufen. Es ist Ebbe aber die Sonne fängt an unterzugehen und wir machen einen großen Spaziergang und knipsen viele Fotos. Hier war ich auch noch nie und es ist einfach alles perfekt: Wir sind zusammen, die Stimmung ist gut, auch der Sonnenuntergang ist wunderschön und taucht alles in ein fabelhaftes Licht! Es ist so schön, dass es geklappt hat, dass einfach alle da sind und wir das Wochenende zusammen verbringen können 🥰😍 bin sehr dankbar.
    Wir gehen nochmal kurz ins Hotel, um uns zu richten und gehen dann ins Acapulco. Wir müssen eine Stunde auf einen Tisch warten, aber bekommen die Visitenkarte und sollen im Pub nebenan einfach sagen, dass wir auf den Tisch warten. Wir bekommen direkt einen Tisch dort und bestellen eine Runde Drinks 🥳 und vor lauter Hunger auch eine Pommes zum Teilen. Die Stimmung danach ist gut angeheitert und wir freuen uns aufs Essen! Ich schwärme natürlich so von den Vorspeisen, dass auch wir die Platte bestellen. Leider ist das Essen dann vielen zu scharf, was blöd ist 😔 Hatte das gar nicht mehr so auf dem Schirm. Aber dann muss die Schärfe halt gelöscht werden mit Margherita Pitchern 😂. Wir probieren zwei verschiedene. Danach gehen wir dann noch auf die Suche für einen Pub, was sich schwierig rausstellt, da man ja nirgends reservieren kann und die Mädels eher weniger Lust haben zu tanzen. Wir werden aber fündig in einem Pub und quetschen uns zu zwei Männern an den Tisch 😅. Leider kann man sich nicht so gut unterhalten und aufgrund der Schließung um 12 lohnt es sich auch nicht mehr, noch die Location zu wechseln, weshalb wir dann einfach den letzten Bus nehmen. Dann wird erstmal zusammen abgeschminkt und fürs Bett fertig gemacht 😍 Traum, so zusammen zu sein. Der erste Tag ist dann aber leider auch schon wieder rum 😔.
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    Judith Denneler

    Sieht nach einem sehr schönen Wochenende aus 🥰🌄

    11/25/21Reply
    Kati Wanner

    War sehr schön 😍😍😍

    11/25/21Reply
    Rosa Becker

    Das ist Freundschaft, ❤️ da sind auch tausende von Kilometer kein Hindernis 👍

    11/25/21Reply
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  • Day4

    Ok.... Day 1 Summay Wrap Up

    June 27 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    So... I don't think anyone wants me to post after every little thing we do... so I think I will try and post just a daily summary and hit "my" highlights.... which I am sure is different from Jen's highlights that she posts on Facebook.

    So... Day 1. After Trinity College and The Book of Kells, we got on our walking horse and headed south. We tried to go to a museum but it was closed. So we went to a park... then left that park. Then we went on a wild emotional journey to find a bathroom which we eventually found but had to pay $0.25 for...so.... i dried my hands for an extra 10 seconds to get my monies worth.

    Then it was off to find lunch. The place we wanted to go opens at 11 but they didn't open their doors until 12 so we went to another place where my kids could eat chicken wings. Then it was off to a church we didn't go in and Dublinia... the Viking museum, where we took a video of a viking pooping. Then it was off to another church that we did go to but got kicked out of because they were "closing" for a service. Then it was a mad run to a store my kids wanted to go to because they had magic cards there but we didn't make it in time so now my kids were "disappointed". REALLY!!!! And then it was time to tackle the near impossible question... "where do we eat supper " which ended up getting answered with "a grocery store". Then it was back to the room where Liam fell right to sleep and our watches that record our steps were smoking and almost dead after recording over 23,000 steps.

    Whew....

    Tomorrow will be much more laid back.
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    Dylan Mooney

    I look good

    6/27/22Reply
    Dylan Mooney

    ha

    6/27/22Reply
    Dylan Mooney

    best part is the thumb

    6/27/22Reply
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  • Day89

    CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 24

    July 11 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Today was our last road trip as we made our way to Dublin, our last destination of our three-month European road trip.

    One of the sites we were interested in visiting was Newgrange, a 5500 year old Neolithic burial mound. It's older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Giza. We learned that the entrance into the mound books way in advance so we were unable to get tickets. Jim C suggested that we instead go to Dowth a lesser known Neolithic passage tomb located in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland. In my research, I learned that Dowth is one of the three principal tombs of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site – a landscape of prehistoric monuments in the area.

    Unlike Newgrange, Dowth has no visitor center. It's announced by a simple gate, in a mostly unkempt cow pasture. When we arrived, there was only one other visitor. The structure is cratered in the center. I assumed that the structure just collapsed, but learned that it was subject to an "unprofessional excavation" in the mid 1800's. More specifically, the Royal Irish Academy used dynamite as their excavation tool.

    We saw some closed passages to the chambers as we dodged cowpies to go up the ridge. When we made our way to the top, we could see Newgrange in the distance. Dowth Hall, a stately manor with a adjacent cemetery, could also be viewed on the property. On one of the kerbstones, we could see carvings representing the sun. This is fitting as the entry points of the cave are perfectly aligned with Winter Solstice sunset light. In reflection, we think of ancient peoples as primitive. Perhaps, we're the primitive ones as we too often fail to celebrate the simple gifts available to us with no cost.

    We left Dowth and headed to Drogheda, an industrial port town north of Dublin. I had a bit of macabre interest in viewing two sites there: St. Peter's Church of Ireland and St. Peter's Catholic Church.

    The first site has a cemetery with an unusual memorial to its departed: two cadaver stones. These stones are seven-foot veiled skeletons carvings. We talked to a man who was enjoying his lunch in the cemetery, and he told us that he sang in the church choir when he was a boy. He mourned the deterioration of his town which he attributed to growing drug addiction and the availability of heroin. He remarked that he hardly knew anyone in town anymore, and that he was surprised to talk to out-of-toen strangers who spoke English. We thanked him for the conversation, and we made our way to the Catholic Church a few blocks away.

    I have been using the website Ireland Before You Die (IBUD). St. Peter's Catholic Church houses the relics of Saint Oliver Plunkett. More graphically, the church houses some of his bones and his mummified head in full view inside ornate cases. While the gruesome display draws curious visitors like myself, this is also a place where Catholics visit to honor the most recent canonized Irish Saint in the last 700 years. Saint Oscar was known for promoting Catholicism in Ireland. He was the last victim murdered as a result of a Protestant conspiracy campaign known as the Popish Plot where he was accused of conspiring with the French to kill the Protestant King. This church also purports to house a piece of wood from the cross used to crucify Jesus. The church is quite beautiful, and I'm glad that we were able to visit.

    We left Drogheda and made our way to Dublin. The last two miles were a bit slow due to traffic, but we made it to the flat we're sharing with Peter & Jarek. They are a lovely, engaging couple. We joined them for a pasta dinner prepared by Jarek, and we enjoyed our conversations.

    We watched the news about the upcoming celebration of July 12th by Unionists in Belfast. One of the traditions is to burn massive bonfires reminiscent of football homecoming celebrations. I couldn't help noticing that at the top of the pyre in one piece of footage was Ireland's tri-color flag, a reminder that the internal strife remains. I'm grateful to miss the disdain "festivities".
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  • Day92

    CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 27

    July 14 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We checked out Phoenix Park today which is also the home of the Dublin Zoo. The park is massive and well kept with beautiful garden beds and trees.

    We enjoyed our trip to the zoo. We sometimes go to zoos with mixed feelings as we worry about the enclosures where animals are housed. The Dublin Zoo was a nice exception, as the areas where the elephants, lions and gorillas were kept were quite spacious, and efforts to match habitat were notable. The zoo walk is pleasant, and it's fun to listen to the kids with Irish accents. It reminded us of missing our zoo time with Olive.

    After leaving the zoo we walked back toward the city and stopped at the Brazen Head Pub for wings, chips and a pint. The Brazen Head is the oldest pub in Ireland dating back to the late 12th century. This underscores our experience in Europe: In the states we consider something very old if it is over 150 years old. It's been hard to fathom witnessing sites that are thousands of years old as well as staying in neighborhoods from Medieval times.

    We had no plans this evening, and we went to a movie, something we haven't done the whole trip. Jim C and I went to see "Everything, Everywhere, and All at Once". He hadn't seen it, and it was the last film that I saw in a movie theater right before we left for our trip. We found the showing at the Irish Film Institute, and it reminded us of the smaller movie theaters back home. It was another good day in Dublin.
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    Mark Brady Smith

    “De Azoo” in Dublin is fab. A great day out. I was thinking about you both as I passed through Dublin today.

    Jim Fotter

    looks like we have some bonus days. Our flight home was canceled. Tuesday departure now

    Mark Brady Smith

    You know where we are and only a message away if at a loose end! Sorry to hear about the flight! 😞

    Jim Fotter

    thank you. let's just say I'm not a fan of British Airways. zero communication from them

    Mark Brady Smith

    Seems to be the story with a lot of companies unfortunately.

     
  • Day91

    CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 26

    July 13 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Today our destination was to see the Book of Kells and the Long Hall at Trinity College. I had not really known much about the book and first heard a reference to it in an animated fiction movie that our son-in-law told us about, "The Secret of Kells". Our granddaughter's middle name is Aisling and her parents parents chose it because her piercing blue eyes reminded her father of that character.

    The Book of Kells is an illustrated manuscript of the four Gospels and its thought to have been created by monks around the beginning of the 9th Century. The calligraphy is intricate and supposedly given more attention than the actual text accuracy. It's name comes from a monastery in Ireland where it was housed for centuries.

    We had a timed entry to set the exhibit, and we were first led to a maze of background displays before entering the room where the book is displayed. We found the prefacing displays to be a bit random and unclear about sequencing. I did like seeing the example of parchment although purportedly the pages were not paper, but made from tanned calf skins(vellum) cured with excrement.

    We were not allowed to take photos of the displayed portion of the book displayed. It was pretty amazing to see how vibrant the colors were given that it is around 1300 years old.

    We proceeded to the Long Hall after leaving the display. It was one of the most magnificent libraries that I have ever witnessed. The rows of books packed in two levels of ceiling high bookshelves was really spectacular. Both the visual display and the smell of the woodwork and books created a memorable sensory experience.

    I'm reminded that an e-book is no substitute for the feel and smell of a book. I could have just sat and meditated in that beautiful library for hours. I'm grateful for the books that we have at home.

    After enjoying burritos outdoors on a sunny afternoon, we made our way to St Patrick's Cathedral which is near where we are staying. St. Patrick's Cathedral was founded as a Catholic cathedral in 1191 A.D. It is currently the national Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. One of the Cathedral's most notable deans was Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels" and other works. The Cathedral is known for its choir who also participated in the first performance of Handel's "Messiah". The church was in considerable disrepair in the 19th century, and the famous brewmaker Guinness contributed funds for its restoration. It's interesting that both Cathedrals in Dublin were restored by brewers.

    We took a rest in the afternoon and we enjoyed a return visit to The George for a beer. We went to a nearby Japanese restaurant for dinner, and we returned to our flat. We wrapped the evening with a nice conversation with our hosts. It was another great day in this beautiful city.
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  • Day90

    CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 25

    July 12 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today was our first full day in Dublin. We started with breakfast with Peter and Jarek, and we decided that this would just be a "get a feel for the" city day and we would select attractions as the mood called us.

    Today was overcast, but the temperatures were pleasant. We passed by St. Patrick's Cathedral an Anglican Church where Jonathan Swift once served as its Dean.

    We decided to explore Christ Church Cathedral which was built under Viking in the early 11th century. My first impression of the church was the sense of how old it was. We learned that the roof collapsed in the 16th century and it was rebuilt from a wealthy distiller of whiskey hundreds of years later.

    Besides the church, one of the first things that captures your eye is the prone monument over the resting point of Strongbow. The name Strongbow gives the image of a strong soldier, but he was not known by that nickname until several hundred years after his death and it might be more of a loss in translation. We found it funny that he was described as "...a rather gangly, effeminate and softly-spoken man with ginger hair and freckles who had ‘more of the air of a man-at-arms than a general-in-chief".

    I couldn't help think of the fierce queens of Stonewall. Don't underestimate their strength or determination.

    Despite the depiction, Strongbow was known for leading an army of Normans in an invasion of Waterford, and he was promised the hand of the Irish princess Aoife and subsequently considerable land. Traditionally business deals signed over his resting place were considered a sign of sealing the deal.

    The cathedral was otherwise quite beautiful. Purportedly the choir of Christ Church were among those who first performed Handel's Messiah in 1742. Having sung that piece in a church choir, I imagined the honor of performing in the choir lofts here.

    After our visit to Christ Church we decided to make a visit to the EPIC museum which celebrates Irish history and documents the hardships that caused Irish immigration as well as the influence of Irish immigrants in world. I took the opportunity to work with Maura, a genealogist, during our visit to EPIC. She was very helpful in unlocking some family tree mysteries where I had been stuck around my maternal grandfather's lineage.

    After our visit we had the pleasure to connect with Frank who I sang with in the Portland Gay Men's Chorus. Frank is originally from Dublin and he returned a few years ago. We enjoyed a few pints at The George, a stately gay Irish pub, and we enjoyed dinner and catching up at an area Italian Restaurant. It was a very fine day, and we are really enjoying this last leg of our journey.
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  • Day46

    Klassenfahrt auf Sylt 😂

    October 29, 2021 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    Ach, wir fühlen uns wie früher im Schullandheim: Wir schlafen im Hostel in einem 6er Zimmer und müssen erst Mal unsere Hochbetten beziehen. Nach manchem Überwinden von Ekel sind die Betten verteilt, bezogen und wir so langsam fertig, noch etwas essen zu gehen. Die Bäuche knurren schon!
    Unsere erste unverbindliche Reservierung verpassen wir, aber zum Glück finden wir schnell eine Alternative. Und was für eine! Es gibt leckere Burger, Rippchen, Nachos mid Mac und Cheese(?!) und dazu noch ein paar Bierchen. Das beste zum Schluss, als wir die letzten sind: wir trauen uns doch zu fragen, was es mit der Eismaschine auf sich hat, so viele hingehen. Es ist einfach kostenlos 🤯 und wir nehmen alle noch eine kleine Portion🍦wir spaßen, dass wir morgen für eine Kanne Leitungswasser vorbei kommen, um uns noch eins abzustauben. Richtig cool auf jeden Fall!
    Dann wollen wir noch in einen Pub und gehen und zwar in den gleichen, in dem Ed (unser Nachbar) etc. auch sind. Der Kellner scheint auf Drogen zu sein, so springt der hier umher 🤪. Ich treffe nicht die beste Wahl mit meinem Jippy IPA 🍺 aber dem Rest mundet es. Die Live Band ist sehr laut und die letzte Runde kam dann auch schon schnell, danach gehen wir dann in unser Hostel und finden unsere Schlafsituation wieder richtig witzig, weil alle sich fertig machen müssen und so ☺️ einfach cool haha 😂!
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  • Day93

    CÚIG GHRIANGHRAF-Ireland Day 28

    July 15 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We had a bit of a rocky start today. When we woke up, I noticed a reference to an Alaska Airlines alert to a schedule change. Most of these changes have been trivial, but we learned from the agent that British Airways had canceled the Dublin to London flight, our first leg of our trip home tomorrow.

    We tried calling British Airways to explore other back-up options, and we heard recorded announcements to call back later. We decided to take an Uber to the airport to see if we could talk to a live person. 30€ later, we discovered that no one was at the BA ticket counter upon our arrival at the terminal. At this point, I kept trying to call Alaska Airlines back and the call dropped several times until we discovered that British Airways had rebooked flights from Saturday to Tuesday.

    I should note that we know that air travel this summer in Europe and some cities in the U.S. have been quite a trial for many travelers. We don't expect to have some magical exemption to protect a cancellation from happening to us. But I did have a bit of a meltdown when there was just no one to talk with about a remedy. British Airways is complete "shite" 💩 as they say over here.

    In the scheme of things, we're fine. We've booked a hotel for three more nights at a reasonable price in the heart of a really great city. The weather is expected be sunny and warm. We're not missing an important family event or an important work meeting. We will likely be reimbursed for most or all of our expenses caused by the delay.

    My childish side still claims the right to some sulking and fuming time. I was happy to embrace my inner twelve-year-old. And admittedly I did revert to a few hours of life not being fair.

    Jim C chose a walk in a park and reading a new book as a coping strategy. I chose being holed up in our bedroom and an eventual walk around the city with a quick culinary diversion of Dutch Apple pie.

    Jim snd and I had a rendezvous at The George, and we has a great Asian meal of stuffed dumplings and noodles. We met up with an online acquaintance, and we had a great conversation with him. It was fun hearing about his hiking travels in Wyoming and Montana

    When we returned to the flat, we had a great conversation with our gracious hosts.

    In reflection, when I'm in a deficit mind frame, I have learned that a good cure is to make gratitude lists. That shift was catalyzed by a walk through Love Alley, a space where the walls were decorated with hearts and various affirmations and excerpt from song lyrics. One in particular caught my eye:

    "We have enough.
    We have each other.
    We have everything."

    Indeed we do.
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    We had a small bump in our trip earlier this summer. An eleven hour wait in Manchester to fly to Dublin. Two cancelled flight and one delayed 3+ hours. Similarly, the lack of airline staff (in our case, Aer Lingus) created a vacuum of information that increased our frustration. But, as they say, truly a first world problem. [Mary Lindquist]

    Marvin Newton

    Although I am disheartened you won’t be home tomorrow, I am glad you are safe and able to explore that beautiful city a couple more days. See you soon friends!

    Nancy Carroll

    Glad you found Love Alley and some peace of mind on such a challenging day. Love you two! ❤️

    Jim Fotter

    💗

     
  • Day3

    Dublin Day 2

    July 11 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 66 °F

    We probably should have ended our day much earlier tonight, but our evening dinner and drinks at Baraza and nightcap drinks in our hotel lobby were SO good…so it’s late and we have to get up early for breakfast and meeting our Inroads Ireland guide, Hugh.

    There was some discussion before ordering breakfast today about the meaning of black and white pudding, and once it was confirmed that black pudding has blood in it, it was out of the running as a breakfast choice. 😂 😂 We stuck to what was most familiar today. Maybe one of us will get braver as the trip continues. 🤷‍♀️

    The highlight of today was Trinity College. It was founded in 1592, and our guide, Jerry, shared how the college came into possession of The Book of Kells (800 A.D.) - perhaps the most representative piece of Celtic and Irish art, an ornately decorated, very unique copy of the New Testament of the Bible. Its pages, or as they are called, folios are made from vellum. Vellum is made from the skin of calves, sheep or less frequently, goat kids, but in the case of the Book of Kells, calfskin was predominantly used. Completing all the folios of the Book of Kells required the skins of more than 185 calves. 😮

    We were able to see one out of the four parts of the book and then we spent time in the amazing Long Room library. 📚 200,000 books!!

    Our guide was a wealth of information and did a great job, but the heat and humidity got the better of us by time we ended the tour at the castle.

    Awesome parts to our day:

    1. Relaxing morning over breakfast
    2. Adrianne and Haley finding the road with all the umbrellas overhead
    3. The Long Room library
    4. Finding a lunch place where it was cool (Porterhouse Temple Bar)
    5. Haley finding a spot for dinner across the river at a place called Baraza
    6. Temple Bar streets in the evening

    Tough Part:

    1. Humidity and warm temperatures - Adrianne said it looked like someone had doused my face with water I was sweating so bad. We all made makeshift paper fans to cool off.

    Tomorrow we start our tour around the southern part of Ireland.
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    JoDee Lamb

    I wasn't expecting all the detail...but Allan and I are loving it. I think I would pass on the blood pudding as well 😳

    Lynda Cathey

    Love the pictures

    Linda Bales

    No blood pudding for me! If you have a chance order a Smithwicks beer. I loved it.

    Candi Bachtell

    Your pictures brought back so many memories. Love that you are in Ireland.

     

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